The car radiator is one of the most important gadgets in a vehicle. It constitutes or rather, it is a part of the cooling system. It prevents the engine from overheating a condition that could lead to permanent damage of the engine, piston or the entire cooling system. A majority of car radiators last for a long time. In the event the radiator is not functioning properly, fluctuating, symptoms such as overheating, radiator sludge, leaking coolant, drop in pressure, and rust may occur. If this happens it may require some welding to fix it. Be sure to use a welding helmet if you do go down this route.
Overheating: This is one of the biggest problems of the radiator. When overheating occurs, the radiator does not cool the coolant before it is pumped into the engine. It is a potential trouble that results to fluctuation of temperature and can result to serious damages if not rectified. The problem of overheating can result from the failure of the fans. The dashboard’s temperature gauge rises above the normal limit when the temperature of the radiator is beyond normal. It is recommended to shut off the car if the problem is detected.
Leaking coolant: Leaking is noted by the presence of orange or green liquid under the car or even in the passengers’ compartment. Also, green or orange coloring and stains are seen on the engine, or on the radiator beneath the bonnet. Additionally, the coolant releases a certain smell when the engine is running. All these symptoms are an indication that the radiator is failing and need to be checked for repair or replacement. Most probably, the radiator is corroded and has a puncture(s)
Low coolant levels: Low coolant levels are associated with a leaking Radiator. Although the level of the coolant depletes with time, a sudden drop in the level of the same is not normal. In such a situation, the car owner should check the connections and hoses to ascertain they are tightly fixed.
Low coolant levels: The radiator may process low pressure than required if it has a lot of corrosions. At normal condition, the radiators should produce a pressure of between 10 PSI and 12PSI. If the pressure values are lower than this, the radiator has problem which need to be addressed. A pressure gauge can be suitably used to determine the pressure of the radiator.
Failure of the heater: Failure of the heater is noted when the heater starts to blow cold air. Presence of cold air is not an indication that the cooling system is functioning out properly. Normally, it is a warning that the cooling system has a problem. Lack of hot air coming from the vents, It is an indication that the coolant levels in the radiator are very low and are not circulating from the engine to the heater core.
Radiator sludge: Sludge forms when the radiator goes bad, rust or develops debris. When the fluid in the radiator is contaminated, it rust rusts. A rusty radiator is likely to cause flaking in the coolant, resulting to the formation of the sludge that does not cool the engine efficiently. The sludge never drains completely but remain in the radiator after a coolant flush. Its presence continues to inhibit cooling and needs to be replaced immediately it is detected.
The presence of any of the above signs in your vehicle, is an indication that the car radiator has a problem.